Whether a game is a high limit blackjack game or a low limit blackjack game is a matter of perspective. Most of it depends on the size of your bankroll. If your bankroll is small, even $25 a hand seems like high roller blackjack.
The casinos have different standards for who’s a high roller and who isn’t. And some casinos that are smaller might appreciate your big bets more than others. Most casinos don’t consider you much of a player until you start betting $100 a hand or more.
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And the real high rollers, the ones who are REALLY playing high limit blackjack, are betting up to $500 or even $5000 per hand.
This post features some observations about how to get the most for your money if you’re a high limit blackjack player.
Be sure to also read my friend’s post about high limit slots tricks, also on this site.
What Perks Do High Limit Blackjack Players Enjoy?
If you’re a high limit blackjack player, you’ll enjoy casino perks that aren’t available to average players. In this section, I explain how some of those perks work:
Casino deposit bonuses are a standard perk for all casino players. But high rollers who blackjack are coveted gamblers, so the casinos often offer deposit bonuses for high rollers that are better than standard. Ask the customer service department at your online casino about deposit bonuses for high rollers.
Different blackjack game options are available for high stakes gamblers. This is true at both online and land-based casinos. You just need to ask the casino what kind of action you need to bring to get better sets of rules.
Most casinos have hosts to cater to the whims of their high rollers. At online casinos, these might be doing everything virtually. At a land-based casino, these hosts will bend over backwards to cater to you. There’s only one catch — you need to be bringing big action to the tables.
Every casino has its own VIP department, so you might get other perks, too.
The key is to ask, ask, and ask some more.
The Downsides of High Limit Blackjack Play
Playing high stakes blackjack games has two big disadvantages that won’t apply to most of my readers.
The first drawback only applies to advantage players. An advantage player is a gambler that uses a legal technique to get a mathematical edge at a casino game. Most advantage players in the blackjack niche are card counters.
The casino watches such players more closely at the higher stakes tables because they stand to lose more money from a high rolling playing with an edge. If a blackjack player has a 2% edge over the house, he stands to earn $2 per $100 bet on average. But if he’s betting $1000 a hand, his expected return is $20 per bet.
But most blackjack players aren’t counters. So, they don’t need to worry about the casino paying attention to them. They SHOULD stick with correct basic strategy, though. This will minimize the amount you lose.
The obvious disadvantage to playing high limit blackjack if you don’t have an edge is that you’ll lose more money. If you’re playing at a casino where the blackjack rules give the house a 1% edge, you’ll lose an average of $1 per hand when you’re betting $100 per hand.
Increase that to $1000 per hand, and you’re losing $10 per hand on average over time.
Winning Tips for High Limit Blackjack Gamblers
The biggest winning tip I have for high limit blackjack players is to memorize and use basic strategy. This is the mathematically optimal way to play every hand in every situation. Every time you deviate from the correct basic strategy, the casino stands to win more money from you in the long run.
The second biggest tip for high limit blackjack players is to aggressively ask for perks based on the action you’re bringing. Don’t settle for the same rules that the lower limit players are using. The casino should offer you better game conditions if you’re betting more per hand.
But you have to ask.
Don’t forget that if a casino isn’t rewarding your appropriately for your action, you can find another casino that will.
All gamblers should keep a gambling diary. This doesn’t need to be detailed, but it should include what game you’re playing each session. It should also include the stakes and how much you won or lost during each session.
This matters because your losses are tax-deductible. It’s possible to go on a big winning streak during a blackjack session. You pay income tax on that money unless you have a record of losses to offset that with.
Also, when you have a record of your play, you KNOW what kind of action you’re bringing the casino. They’re more interest in how much you wager than in how much you lose in the short run, too. That is, unless you’re such a big high roller that you can devastate the casino’s earnings for the night.
Counting Cards for High Stakes
I mentioned this earlier in the post, but it bears repeating here:
Casinos watch the high stakes tables more closely for card counters. The math behind that is simple:
A card counter who’s playing for between $5 and $50 per hand is ranging her bets pretty widely. But she’s still not putting more than $50 into action at a time.
Over a 2-hour session, she can’t possibly put more than about $20,000 into action, but the actual amount will be less because she’s betting less on a lot of those hands. Let’s say she’s putting $5000 into action over those 2 hours.
An average card counter might have a 1% edge over the casino, so you’re looking at earning $25/hour if you’re counter in that position.
The casino’s not interested in losing that.
But they’re way more concerned about the player between between $50 and $500 per hand. After all, THOSE players are looking at winning $250/hour.
Subterfuge is a card counting skill you’ll need to master if you’re playing for high stakes.
The Best Las Vegas Casinos for Blackjack Whales
- MGM Grand
- Red Rock Casinos
Here are my thoughts on each of these properties:
Aria – If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, Aria is probably the way to go. The table minimum for blackjack in their high limit room is $100 per hand. You’ll need at least $500 to buy in. They offer free drinks for gamblers. That used to be a standard perk for all players. But the times are changing.
Luxor – This used to be one of the best high end casino hotels on the Strip. It’s gotten tired, but there’s plenty of good gambling here. Their minimum bet in the high roller room is also $100 per hand. According Torchbrothers.com, they’re really good at keeping the spectators from bothering the blackjack players.
MGM Grand – This is another old Las Vegas mainstay. I like it better than Luxor, in fact. The main high limit room has tables with minimum bets from $100 to $500. You can also get a private game going where you can bet $75,000 a hand. THOSE are the kinds of high rollers the casinos love.
Palazzo – This is a popular destination for celebrity-watching. And they have $200 per bet minimums at the blackjack tables.
Red Rock Casino – This property is known for having generous rules at all their casino games, but still — check before playing them what rules they offer. They also have a $100 minimum bet in the high roller room.
Bankroll Management for High Rollers
Bankroll management for high rollers is different based on whether they’re advantage players or not. If you’re a card counter, you need a big enough bankroll to avoid going broke before your edge kicks in. Short term variance is a big deal if you don’t have a big stake.
How much do you need?
Blackjack Apprenticeship has a good guide. They suggest having a minimum bankroll of at least 200 units. This means, if you have a table with a $100 minimum bet, you need at least $20,000 in your bankroll. Otherwise, you risk having a streak of bad luck that will break you.
And, a bigger bankroll is even better. It reduces the probability of going broke even further. $50,000 is probably more appropriate.
On the other hand, if you’re a recreational player, you would need an infinite bankroll to avoid going broke. That’s because, with a house edge — even a low one — you’ll eventually go broke.
But at many of the casinos listed on this page, you can play $100 per hand blackjack with a buy-in of as little as $500. This is called “taking a shot.”
You don’t have a realistic chance of walking away with a lot of money, but if your win goal is low enough, you could pull it off at one of these high stakes tables.
High limit blackjack is easy to find at both online casinos and their land-based cousins. The perks for high limit players are significant. The downside is simple enough, too — the more you wager, the bigger your average losses will be.
Be sure to use perfect basic strategy and have a big enough bankroll that you at least have a chance of achieving your goals at the table.